At first, I didn’t think I had too many photos for this, but after going thru my library, I actually had too many! In fact, I still probably have too many….but I am horrible at cutting a potential prospect, because there is a story behind every photo, and you all know how I like to talk.
My first photo is from about 5 years ago, when I first got my new camera. Which is now an “old” camera… Anyway, it’s 10 mega pixels or something like that – a huge step up from the 3.4mp Sony I was using. I will say one thing about that Sony – it was built like a tank. I lost is twice in the same day one weekend when we were in Rockford IL for the Midwest BMX Nationals and got it back (twice) in good working order with only a few dents and dings after it had been run over by a car and kicked by countless teenagers in bike shoes. (I am fully aware that I am one of the few people who could lose the same camera twice in the same day. It’s a gift.)
My “new” camera, incidentally, is a Canon Powershot, and has never been lost. The irony of losing the other one is that I had often berated my children about the danger to their lives if they ever lost my camera. Yeah. I’m that mom.
Okay, on to the photo. I was out playing in the neighborhood with my new toy, at night mind you so the neighbors were probably scared until they saw it was just the neighborhood weirdo stalking among their flagpoles. You can’t get much more summer than Old Glory and the 4th of July.
I grew up loving horses and read pretty much every book available about them as a kid. The Black Stallion was my favorite. I spent many a night daydreaming about riding The Black.
The photo below was taken at the graduation party of one of my relatives. Now, we will see if they read my blog and recognize him. Or her. I’m not entirely sure. But who cares? Pony!
When I was a kid, my best friend used to say “It’s hotter than blue blazes!” in the summer. The picture below, while not blue, certainly looks like it’s that hot. Definitely fiery.
Here comes the sun!
Ah, kayaking! Doubt we will get out there this year, as we are still trying to figure out where to keep the kayaks now that we moved, so I have to live vicariously thru my own photos.
Wish I was doing this right now!
This next photo is one of my favorite places to be: Neshota Beach in Two Rivers, on Lake Michigan. People often fly kites there, as well as the usual beach activities. Personally, I like to lay on my blanket in a comatose state, with a jar of peanuts, a bottle of Spotted Cow beer, and a trashy novel. High class, all the way.
The photo below is from a different kind of beach. This is Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island in Door County, WI. It is a rare smooth stone beach and it’s illegal to remove any of the stones. And I did NOT remove any. Nope. Nope. Nope.
Schoolhouse Beach, Washington Island
Last summer, The Daver and I vacationed in the Badlands and Blackhills in South Dakota. Awesome trip, and so beautiful. One of my favorite shots.
Summer in the Badlands
The following is my obligatory summer dock photo. Taken from a small public landing on a small lake near the small town of Brillion, WI, of which I don’t remember the name, because I’m old. Another fabulous cycling find.
My final photo was taken just a few days ago, on another bike ride. I saw the sun going down thru the branches and hopped off my bike and ran in some guys yard to snap this. New neighbors are going to have to get used the me.
Sun going down over the Bay
And that’s it folks!
Oh, and the picture of the horse reminded me of a story I need to tell you someday about the time I used to own a horse. High in entertainment value and my usual dumb assery. But you’re going to have to wait. 🙂
PS: Don’t forget to visit Cee and check out her photos, as well as those posted by the other folks. Really some talented people out there – way more talented than me! You can find her site by clicking here: Cee’s Photography
I’m taking a break from my usual fare this week, because I recently started following a blog called Cee’s Photography, and she runs photo challenges every week. She has beautiful photos and they make me smile, so I thought I would share with you because you can never have too many smiles in a day.
I decided to participate in her Elements/Seasons series – as you all know I am a nature freak. So, without further ado, here is my entry for Wood/Spring.
First up – photos from one of my most favorite places in all the land! Bjorklunden (Lawrence University) in Door County. Love, love, love that place, and for a while went every year with my sister for a ladies weekend. I missed the last two years, a knife in my spiritual heart – I have been able to reach out to God so easily in this place.
Spring dew on lakeside branches.
God calling in the mist.
This next picture was taken down by the Fox River, close to the locks. I was actually trying to get shots of the pelicans, and happened across this bright bit of life starting it’s journey.
Life finds a way.
These yellow blooms were in my front landscaping at our old house. Absolutely no clue what they are. Tiny blooms in very fine leaves. I just liked them because they are my favorite color! Yellooooowwww!
Here’s something weird about me you probably didn’t know. I love old cemeteries. I like to read the stones and shut my eyes and imagine them as they lived, worked, and played. When I was a kid, cemeteries creeped me out and I used to hold my breath whenever we drove past one. Part of an old wives tail I think? Like lifting your feet up when driving over railroad tracks. Geez – I don’t even remember what that one was for – just remember doing it.
This cemetery in Salem, MA was especially cool because it had people in it from the Salem Witch Trials. Interesting thing about these old tombstones is that they looked fake because they were so thin. I had to touch them to be sure they were real. And plus, like the big kid I am, I just can’t not touch.
Salem cemetery, Salem, MA
Salem cemetery, Salem, MA
This next photo was taken while kayaking with the Daver on the chain of lakes in Waupaca. There is a series of small, shallow lakes on the tail end of the chain perfect for kayaking. I managed to not only stay in the boat, but didn’t drop my camera or phone in the drink. I have mad kayaking skills.
Waupaca County, WI
We found this face of tree roots on our walk to a waterfall in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, TN. It had just rained, so it was a slippery, muddy hike. But totally worth it – so much natural eye candy!
I just really liked how all my pots looked last year, waiting for me to fill them with new life. This year, many stand empty yet, as we have been too busy trying to get a driveway, deck, etc. Next year, they will all be filled again, though!
Time to plant!
Last spring, I road in the Menominee River Century – we did 50 miles. On a short breather after a hill climb, I hopped off my bike and ran in the woods to grab this shot. Did I ever mention how much I love riding? Scenes like this play a big part in that love.
Pine trees in Menominee
I know I recently shared this one, but it’s so pretty, I had to include it. Taken on the trail thru a local bird sanctuary – it’s basically wetlands. I was covered in chemicals or I would have been eaten alive by the velociraptors…er…mosquitoes.
Trail thru a local bird sanctuary.
And finally – does anyone know what these purple beauties are? I see them blooming all over the place but have no clue what they are.
Who Am I? 24601!!
Those are my contributions! I hope you enjoyed them!
A big thank you to Cee for sponsoring this challenge! Please check out her blog, and also the other entries posted in her comments.
The Jesus Rock – Shores of Lake Michigan near Bjorklunden
Dave and I have an inside joke, that isn’t really all that “inside”. Based on the Peanuts Halloween episode, where everyone gets candy while trick or treating except poor Charlie Brown, who keeps getting rocks. I no longer remember the particulars, but something happened at home, and Dave’s response of “I got a rock” elicited giggles from our oldest chick. Her dad has been in love with her and her laugh since the day of her birth and so pretty much anything he says or does that makes her laugh is repeated until it becomes a family tradition.
Although this particular chick has fled the nest, the “I got a rock” tradition continues in our house. It pops up at odd moments – shopping, on our walks, vacationing, dinner, decorating for Christmas…
I Got A Rock
The thing is, we love getting rocks. I have a collection of them on my desk, we have various rocks brought home from vacations, and any trip to the beach has me bending over God’s glitter with curiosity and wonder.
Rocks are mysterious, beautiful, gentle, brooding, forceful. They have a story to tell but they are slow to speak. For me, being around rocks is like being around God – I have a sense of well being, warmth, and calmness. In the rush of living, they remind me to slow down and take a breath. Look around me. Sit a spell. It’s like I can hear God whispering to me in the warmth of the sun soaked stone.
It’s always interesting to see what people do with rocks. Sometimes they polish them into jewelry. Make tools out of them. Carve out tunnels and drive thru them. Create masterpieces within them. Bake with them. Curb fire with them. Build shelters from them.
“Look at that giant rock! Let’s drive a bus thru it! Heck, yes!”
Mostly, I just like to touch them, especially those worn smooth by wind and wave. Last time I went to Bayshore, I decided to rock pick with my camera instead of my hands – these specimens were a little large to fit in my pocket. Here are my favorites.
Playing with my shadow.
In the shallows
Rocks with big strips like this in them intrigue me. I always wonder what was happening on earth during the making of that layer.
I love this one. It looks like a brain. No need to point out the weirdness of that statement. I am fully aware.
I love this one too – the color is so rich.
If you look closely, this one has a daddy long legs on it. I usually hate spiders, but even I’m not freaked out by daddies.
This one makes me think of a whale. Or a dinosaur skull.
Love the color on this one too. And how the water swirls around it.
I love how the water bubbles over this one. And of course, I caught this shot totally on purpose….
This one reminds me of an ancient temple. Or maybe the dutch windmill cookies my Grandma Conard used to always give us.
This one I just liked because of all the tiny dot things on it. Sort of like worms but not in a gross way.
This one reminds me of a side view of some sort of alien or dinosaur or something.
This one you can see the “mouth”.
This rock with the wound of exposed granite really caught my eye. I took one picture dry, then wet it down with the rest of the water in my water bottle (which I regretted on the hot bike ride home).
Here it is wet
Last but not least…
Besides awesome rock pictures, I got a bit of a sun burn that day too. All in all, a wonderful afternoon. I’ll be back next week with tales of Wisconsin Summer Survival!
A few weeks ago I posted about Super Powers – how we all have them. And we do. But every Super Power has it’s Kryptonite.
I am my own worst enemy. The cliche-ness of that statement does not make it any less true. Any dream or goal I have ever had has always had an obstacle. And that obstacle has always been me.
Me standing with a worried brow and wringing hands. With fear and self doubt babbling a litany of reasons for failure. Reasons to give up. Reasons to quit hoping.
You’re too old. You’re too fat. He won’t listen. She won’t learn. The damage can’t be undone. Others are better. Nothing matters so why try. You’ll starve. You’re spouse will leave. You’ll fall and break a hip.
Oh yeah, and then there’s the voices outside your head. From well meaning family, friends, church members, co-workers, acquaintances, the gas station cashier, the homeless guy on the corner…
Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind? That’s stupid. Why? You should do it this way. You should say that instead. You’re gonna get screwed. Look out for number one.
And if those voices aren’t enough to drive me screaming off a cliff, there’s also the voice of realism. Past experience. Knowing my own limitations. Bills that have to be paid. A spouse to consider. Family. Friends. A job. Commitments to others.
All of which must be considered, and “yes” to learning from past mistakes, too. But perhaps considered instead from the point of how they can propel me forward, not how they may hold me back.
So I have to grow a pair. I have to grow a pair so I can stand up to society, to family, to friends. But mostly, to myself.
I gotta tell ya. I took a baby step this weekend and it hurt like hell. Still does. I suspect it will for a long time, because I’m not stopping. I need this pair of spiritual balls or I’m going to stay stuck.
I know I’m on the right track, even if my first step wasn’t perfect. It was still a step. A beginning. A line in the sand. A line thru my heart.
And I’m sure that in this process, small victories will retract. Pull themselves back up into my spirit to hide and I will take a step or two backwards. Maybe even stumble and fall. I may have mascara running down my face, ripped panty hose, and a broken heel…haha- ok that’s not me. I’ll be the messy haired little kid with dirt streaked cheeks, skinned knees and snot running out of my nose.
Point is, I’m going to get my ass back up. I’m not quitting. I’m not going away. And I’m not backing down. So get ready Self. I’m not taking any of your shit anymore. There’s a new kid in town.
Tonight I tried to take my cat for a walk. We had limited success. He was pretty happy until I wouldn’t let him sit in the weeds all night. Then we had a bit of a tiff, which I won after several minutes of coaxing, pulling, cajoling, and hissing (him, not me).
You might be wondering (most normal people would) why I was walking my cat, and the best explanation I can come up with is that we were both bored and we both wanted to be outside, even though I am currently covered in bug bites and smell like chemicals. But that’s the point of tonight’s blog – I would rather swat mosquitoes and beer bugs than sit safely indoors. For me, that’s the point of summer – to get outside and explore the world. That would be Midnight’s point too, but he is not allowed unsupervised outdoor visits due to neighborhood garden pooping and baby bunny decapitating.
Do you think she can see me? I don’t think she can see me.
I have had several outings since my last photo blog. I even took a break from sunsets to switch to wild flowers and waterfalls for a bit. My traipsing around snapping photos has earned me 280 miles on my Cannondale and around 30 on my Townie – not a bad start, although I would like to finish up the season at 2000 overall. We will see how ambitious I get, and who wins my weekends – the bike or the beach. Of course, if I bought a Burley, I could throw my cooler and lawn chair in it, and bike TO the beach…hmmmmm…
My first pictures are not outdoor explorations. My friend, Joe, the captain of our mTT (My Team Triumph) Bellin Team from last year came to my day job to rally the troops about mTT and tell his story (always worth repeating – you can read it here). Any day I get to see Joe is a good day, and it’s wonderful to see him spreading his wings as the race ambassador for mTT. If you are looking for an organization to add meaning and heart to your running, check them out and sign up to be an angel. Life changing, I’m tellin’ ya. DO. IT.
Left Picture: From Left to Right – Joe’s Grandma Marge, Mom Dee, Aunt Do-Do (Doreen – my bestie so I get to make fun of her), Joe, Christian Jensen (Wisconsin mTT Director) and me. Right Picture: Joe, myself and Christian.
My first excursion took me on a 25 mile circuit thru my ancestors old stomping grounds. I purposely mapped my ride to run the entire length of Conard Road, because the dork in me found it exceedingly cool to ride down a road named after my ancestors, even if it’s just an old farm road. It was also cool to find an ancestral headstone in the local cemetery, although it seems to be one stone marking the very short lives of three children. Two of them died within a couple of months of each other (April 1882 and May 1882 – if I am reading the stone correctly. It’s a little worn so hard to tell), so now wondering if there was a local illness that year, and if so, what? May have to have a little discussion with my dad on that one.
As my ride continued, I noticed storm clouds in the distance, so had to hoof it a little, but I did take time to stop on Mary Road to grab some pictures of blooming wild flowers, including our beautiful state flower, the trillium. I think the small yellow ones are marsh marigolds – notice how they are thriving right next to an old plastic bottle. Gotta love man’s mark on this earth, and nature’s ability to thumb its nose back at us. Does anyone know what the single yellow flower is? Wild or accidental cultivation?
Incidentally, my mother tells me it is not illegal to pick trilliums – just illegal to dig them up and transplant them. I’m not sure if she investigated this or if she is just covering her tracks from all her illegal trillium picking. She’s a little shady, that one.
My next ride took me to Red River County Park, so named because of the color of the river that runs thru it, feeding into the Bay. I’m not sure what causes it – it looks like iron to me, but my dad thought it might be from the clay in the earth or from the bark of local trees. I tried to find something on the internet but Google failed me, so a trip to the library is in order. I supposed I could randomly ask a local too, although the “weirdo factor” kicks in when sweaty strangers in spandex start asking questions.
Red River County Park, Wisconsin
Notice the shells? When I first visited this park with my Grandma Conard way back in the day, this was all sand. I swam in the river with a bunch of other kids – I was a little freaked out by the water, which is probably why I remember it so well. The shells are from an invasive species called the zebra mussel. These little buggers have taken over the Bay and many other local waters, and are causing ecological issues such as avian poisoning and smothering native clams and mussels due to the sheer number of them. My intention is not to start a dissertation as to why the zebra mussels are tiny evil crustaceans, especially seeing as we have so many other ecological issues going on that zebra mussels seem like they would be pretty far down the “should we be alarmed” list.
This picture shows two sides of the same tree at Red River, taken on the same day at the same time. What a difference a little perspective makes. Kinda like life.
My next adventure involved a hike in the woods. There is a bird preserve that has a trail used by birders and forestry students at the local college. Dave and I heard about it thru his cousin Jeremy, and ventured down it a short bit back in April. It was too wet then to continue, but I knew I wanted to come back and explore it. Given the current bug population, Dave declined my invitation. Apparently he is rather attached to his blood.
It was still a little wet – in fact it reminded me of some southern bayou. It occurred to me that it would make a great place to hide a body and I started nervously looking around for the serial killer. And giant hair Shelob spiders. And bloody-muzzled slavering dire wolves. Right about this time I scared up a deer and nearly wet my pants. The beauty below is not imaginary, though.
Memorial weekend Dave and I visited Wequiock Falls, and then Matt and I returned this past Monday night. The difference in foliage in a week is phenomenal, but so is the water volume. Monday’s photos were taken after 2 days of heavy rain – the current was crazy.
This is just a pretty shot of the falls from when Dave and I went over Memorial.
Saturday was spent lounging on the beach at Bayshore, which is primarily crushed zebra mussel shells and rock, but enjoyable anyway. When I got too hot and was tired of dozing in the sun (although honestly, who ever gets tired of dozing in the sun?), I stone hopped along the larger shoreline rocks, occasionally dipping my feet in the Bay to cool off. Notice the “peace” rock.
The rest of these are more sunset pictures – some taken at Bayshore and some at the local boat landing. I also experimented with the panorama function on my iPhone for the first time. Turned out pretty cool, I think. I also really like how the dock and the rocks have a pink hue from the setting sun, and how the one sunset has a cloud that looks like a giant space ship. Oh, and a random flower picture thrown in for good measure.
I did enhance a few of these – the camera never seems to capture the vibrant colors as well as my eyeballs. Hopefully I didn’t over do it!
Lately I’ve been watching a lot of movies. Super hero movies to be exact.
Of course this gets my mind to thinking about super powers, and how cool it would be to have them. Like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, I would like to strap on my cape and leap out the window to streak across the sky. This thought was swiftly followed by the realization that Calvin didn’t need to fly. He already had his super power – his imagination.
You see where I am going with this now. Predictable, yes. But still, we forget all too often about our own super powers, and I needed to remind myself of mine, so thought what the heck, let’s make this a group event.
Because everyone has a super power. Everyone. I know you have one. Maybe you don’t realize it yet. Maybe, like me, you take it for granted. Or don’t realize it’s value because it comes easy to you. Shouldn’t being special and unique and awesome take hard work and extra effort?
A couple of summers ago, I was out walking with my sister. We were talking about strengths and weaknesses (or something like that – who knows, memory is NOT my super power) and I mentioned that the only thing I was really good at was being a goofball. “Bringing joy to other people is a pretty neat thing to be able to do,” she pointed out.
What’s Your Super Power?
Understand how important you are, and how much worth you have, simply by being you. I don’t care if your super power is blowing bubbles. God doesn’t make “squibs”. (Harry Potter reference for you non-geeks – it’s a person with wizard parents who is born without magic). See what I’m sayin’ here? Stop pulling yourself down with the perceived idea that you have nothing to offer.
So what if you can’t fly, you can’t fight, you can’t crow? You’re a damn good lawyer, Peter Pan, and you can out-Pan Rufio. (Rufio-Rufio- RU-FI-OOOO!)
Is your mind faster than a speeding bullet? Is your tenacity stronger than a locomotive? Can your imagination leap tall buildings in a single bound?
What’s Your Super Power?
She turned off her computer, the story about a man who started a clean water campaign for an underprivileged community still circling her thoughts. How does one even think to start something like that, much less actually put it into motion, she wondered. She felt inspired and powerless at the same time. She wished she could do something like that, but it just seemed so overwhelming.
She looked in the mirror. She smiled. She was good at smiling. It didn’t seem like such a great tool for changing the world, though. It was just her, smiling in the mirror at herself, looking sort of like a weirdo.
She went outside, and smiled at the neighbor. Only he didn’t see her. He was working on his truck. Before she could feel disappointment, she noticed his son, shyly smiling back at her from behind his fingers. She covered her eyes, peeping out at him from between them, and grinned back at him. His dad looked up and noticed her, and then looked down and smiled at his son. There were three of them smiling now. She continued walking, the sound of little boy giggles tickling her ears.
What’s Your Super Power?
I’m not giving up. I’m not giving up. I’m not giving up. She said this with gritted teeth, her breath coming in fast, ragged edges that made her eyes water. Her power had been shut off, her son was crying in the heat, her stupid car wouldn’t start, and oh God – she missed Eric so much.
I’m not giving up. Do you hear me, God? I’m not. I’m not giving up. You just have to deal with me. I’m going to stay here, pounding on your fricken door until you do something. I’m. Not. Giving. Up.
What’s Your Super Power?
Jim’s phone buzzed in his pocket. It was a long day of ditch digging and he was butt-ass tired. He had just sat down to eat, his hands engulfing a juicy burger fresh off the grill. He set down the burger, licking the catchup and grease off his fingers while he fished out his phone.
“Hey, Ma,”, he said. Jim’s wife brought her plate to the table and sat down next to him, waiting for him to finish his conversation. Except she could tell he was getting agitated. His leg was nervously bouncing up and down and he was staring past her out the window, his brain working on over drive while he listened. By the time he hung up, she was already putting away the food.
“That was my mom. I gotta go help Gladys – her water heater blew and there’s water flying everywhere. No way she can afford a plumber,” he said, pulling his boots back on his aching feet, while sending mournful glances at his dinner. “Wanna ride along?”
“Sure. I’ll visit with your mom while you’re next door. Take your burger with you – I’ll drive,” she answered, kissing him on the cheek.
What’s Your Super Power?
Nate parked his car. He felt great. The hot girl from marketing had smiled at him twice this week, there was an awesome party at Ben’s later, and he had enough money left over from buying presents to go grab that cool pair of suede Nikes he saw at Pac Sun.
Christmas music floated past him while he traversed the mall, passing vendors with calendars, board games and candied almonds, ignoring their frantic tries to get his attention. He was on a mission.
As he passed the toy store, he saw the coolest damn remote control monster truck he had ever seen. When he was a kid, he had spent hours on his hands and knees playing with Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks, but he had especially loved his monster truck toys. His parents had even taken him to St. Louis to see the real Bigfoot. He still had the replica they bought him from the gift shop sitting on the shelf in his room.
Nate looked at the price tag. Whoa, seriously expensive. He was about to walk away when he saw the bin for Toys For Tots. He thought of his neighbor, a struggling single mom, and wondered if she had enough money to get a present for Mikey. That kid would wet his pants if he opened this up Christmas morning. He looked at the price tag again. Ah shit. He grabbed the box and walked up to the cashier.
Later, at Ben’s, one of his buddies asked him about his new shoes. “Dude, that’s all you could talk about all day at work – where are they?” Nate smiled, and said “Ah, you know. Just decided not to get them.”
What’s Your Super Power?
I know you have one.
It takes a village of super powers to create a world of change. The smallest gestures – a smile, helping a neighbor, a generous heart, a strong will – can have repercussions that enable someone else to fight past hardship, to have a better life, or even just to have a better day.
Recognize the value of you being you. You have the power to make the world a better place. Even if it’s only one smile at a time.
The last time it was nice enough for a decent bike ride was April 12th. I’m writing this two weeks later (April 27th) and publishing on May 1st (Hooray, hooray, the first of May…), and the forecast for this week calls for cloudy skies and rain just about every day.
I am sincerely hoping that I am publishing this AFTER the Highland Howie Thursday night bike ride with the BSBC (Bay Shore Bicycle Club) but I’m not optimistic, because it will probably be raining.
Given that, I thought I would post the pictures I took on April 12th, with a little story to boot. I follow a blog called The Travel Tales of Life, where my alter ego Sue (also married to a Dave – Great Sue’s think alike) posts tales of her many visits to other countries, often on the seat of her bicycle. A few weeks ago, she was in Scotland with her hubby, and while he was busy with work stuff, she asked the locals what she should go see while she was in Aberdeen. Being locals, their response was “Not much here to see” to which her response was “Rubbish!” (don’t you love saying “rubbish”? It’s really an awesome word. I must find a way to sneak it into my day-to-day conversations.) And her blog is filled with photos of treasures she has found while traveling, that perhaps the locals take for granted.
So, my post is basically this: Traveling is wonderful if you have the time and the resources. But if you don’t, remember to seek out the beauty in your own back yard. You don’t have to go far to find it. Sometimes it’s the way a stark tree silhouettes the sky, or a fall blanket of leaves in a cemetery, or pelicans riding the thermals while the sun reflects the dazzling white of their feathers, or the single green shoot of a spring tulip.
When I ride my bike, that is what I love the most – chancing upon the treasures God leaves for me to find in the beauty of the earth. Even when the world seems like it has been gray for so very long, I know His laws of nature are furiously working in the background, just out of reach, and that soon the sun will shine and when it does, my eyes, my ears, my skin, and my heart, will feast on richness of His design. (Was that not just one of the most smarmy paragraphs you have ever read? But it’s true – and the hope of spring is about the only thing that is keeping me from pitching myself into my moat right now.)
Meanwhile, Dave and I walk the neighborhood and pick up trash left over by winter winds, constructions sites, and plow trucks. We pond-stalk the geese and blue teal ducks and hooded mergansers. We walk at twilight and hope to see the deer herd running along the ridge, and carry binoculars in case the eagles are out.
So enjoy my photos of the blue sky, the sun filtering thru the trees, and a bit of left over snow and ice, and take heart knowing that the snow is now gone and the ice has moved off the bay. Spring progress is being made beneath all this grey. And when you see the sun shine again, you will have so much more to see.
See you in a week!
These are photos (above) of my grandparent’s cottage. Well, it used to be theirs. It hasn’t been in the family for years, but all of us grandchildren have many memories of fishing on the dock with Grandma and the bamboo fishing poles; walking out to swim while navigating large seaweed covered rocks; the huge spiders that hung outside the windows and by the boat house that we begged Grandpa to kill; finding crayfish skeletons and dead alewife while walking the rocky beach; playing croquet on the lawn, and crazy eights at the big table inside, all while drinking bug juice and getting noogies from Uncle Jim. If I shut my eyes, I can hear the bang of the wood screen door, smell the damp cedar, and hear Grandma calling us from in the kitchen.
The following photos (below) are from Bayshore Park.
There are a few trails along the cliffs at Bayshore Park. I found this one to the left of the main entrance.
Walking down in clip shoes was probably not one of my brighter ideas. Doing it while wearing prescription sunglasses without bifocals didn’t add to the brilliance of the decision. I had the nasty sensation of the ground trying to float up to my eyeballs a few times before I got smart and just took them off. I can see decent enough without them.
Speaking of these sunglasses – they cost me a fortune, but I had leftover money in my flex spending account and had to spend it on something before December 31st. Well, when I stopped to take pictures at the cottage, I set the sunglasses on my bike bag. I totally forgot to put them on when I left, and almost lost them along the side of the road. Before that, they were lost in the move – I found them by chance in the glove box of my car. Not sure why I put them there, because I bought them for biking so one would think I would have stored them with my bike stuff, which is where I spent the last four weeks looking for them.
Such a pretty place to fall on my head. Thank goodness for the rails.
So, I’m huffing and puffing up and down these steps, talking to myself and crashing thru the brush and twigs, when I spot some guy standing on the rocks just above these steps (He’s not in the photo. That would have been rather stalker-ish to take his picture). I felt like a complete idiot, because here was this guy, probably trying to get a little peace and quiet on a Sunday afternoon woodsy hike, while this buffoon in a blinding yellow jacket is stumbling about below him, carrying on a conversation with herself like a crazy person. Then, I got a little nervous, because what if he was really a serial killer, just waiting for his next victim, and there I was, in non-bifocal sunglasses and clip shoes, a catch as easy as a B-movie actress in a mini skirt and high-heeled shoes? As he ran in the other direction, I realized my crazy talk was too crazy for even a serial killer. Chalk one up for menopause.
This greeted me at the top of those steps and around the corner. No clue what it was made for. Besides hiding bodies, I mean. Anyone have any ideas?
Here are a few more shots of it.
I love knarly old trees like this (above).
View from a rest stop on Nicolet. You can still see a little ice left on the bay.
A shot of the fence at the rest stop. Pretty sure these pillars are really old, and not just manufactured to look old. No clue when they were built. I suppose I could find out by going to the library. I think I might have to do that. Get a my research on, baby!
And finally – a picture of my Road ID. This is to prove to Kay that I actually do wear it. It’s yet another of those items I frequently misplace, and never have it when I need it. For you runners and bikers out there – it’s a smart idea to have one, especially if you run or ride alone. EMT’s don’t have to search you for vital information, and it saves time and could save your life, too. Get yours here: ROAD ID
PS- I was right – it was raining. No ride tonight. 😦
Lent. When I was a kid, I always gave something up for lent. Usually it was candy or soda. As an adult, I have only very rarely participated in that aspect of Lent – mostly because the motives for giving something up became linked to losing weight or some other selfish end. That’s really missing the point of what Lent is all about, which is a time of reflection and growth in your relationship with Christ, as well as a preparation for the most holy of weeks and the grand finale – the Resurrection.
However, this year I ran across this article, posted by a friend on Facebook: 20 Things To Give Up For Lent. This inspired me to try something different this year, and I am heeding the advice given in the article by giving up Guilt and Worry.
Living my life consumed by guilt is like telling God He isn’t big enough to heal my past or that I am beyond forgiveness. If I say with my mouth that I don’t believe those things, then I should practice believing it in my heart. And if I believe it in my heart, then it’s time to move away from that damaging self talk Guilt whispers every day, and move forward instead into change and forgiveness.
Worry is the Ugly Step-Sister to Guilt. I worry about things I have absolutely no control over with the misguided internal belief that if I worry about them enough, I can somehow control them. And even though worry has never changed a single outcome in all of my 50 years of existence, I continue to practice it. You all know the definition of insanity, right? So it’s time to start practicing Trust, in place of Worry, and learn to allow Peace to follow Trust.
A tall order for only 40 days. And I am pretty sure I will fail. But every day is a new day and a new chance to start again. No success has ever come without failure along the way. I will give you an update after Easter.
Now, on to #100HappyDays! These are in no particular order, by the way. Nor do I have a picture for everyday since my last 100 Happy Days post – things have been a little hectic with all the moving stuff. I am sure you will enjoy what I have though. 🙂
Birthday Stragglers: My brother and my oldest sister decided I needed a little more Nifty Fifty-ness in my life. Below are their contributions.
Words of Wisdom from my OLDER brother
Old Age Tool Kit From my OLDEST sister, complete with sticky note instructions. Because us old people are so forgetful you know.
We got to meet John Kuhn at our sales meeting. Besides me and Kuhn, that’s our sales rep Judy on the left and my co-worker Kirby in the middle. Notice I’m wearing Packer gold. Totally not planned. I’m just sort of awesome that way.
Besides going thru all the photos, I also went thru a pile of the kids old toys we still had. I ran across this truck and had to take a picture. Matt used to do this to a lot of his trucks – he would draw up decals and tape them to the body. Seeing this made me smile and remember the sweet boy who spent so much time laying on the floor with his cars and trucks. “Matthew the Vehicle King”.
Another Nifty Fifty Event! A beautiful necklace from my friends Karen and Betsy, from their store, Pretty Poppy. If you happen to be in Newburyport, Massachusetts, stop in! It’s a girl’s dream. Seriously – I could never bring my daughter in there. I would go broke.
Latte Friday!! Every Friday, I go thru Jitter Bean for a latte. Yummy delicious – and Julie always gives out an animal cookie with each cup! If you have never been there, you need to check them out. Buy Local!!!
This adorable girl.
Daisy Duke aka Dobby
This goofball cat.
Rub ma bellay! Rub it!
Lucky with his snowbeard.
Let me in, lady! It’s freezing out here.
Going to see Wicked with my daughter, my sister and my niece. I will say this was the one time I liked the play or movie better than the book. Excellent performances by everyone and we had fantastic seats.
Lindsay’s “Wicked” inspired drink at the restaurant. It looked like lime jello.
Cousin Mike’s retirement after 24 years in the Navy. Thank you, Mike, for standing the watch! We are grateful and blessed to have men like you serving in our country.
This – just because.
Finally getting to meet my adorable grand-niece who is almost a year already. Where does the time go? A popular old fart lament, I know. I’m not putting in our picture because this is a public blog, but suffice to say she is super cute and takes after her auntie in Greatness. Happy Birthday, B!!
This ginormous snow pile on the corner of our street. My neighbors had to have made this on purpose. Too bad they don’t have any kids – it would make an awesome fort!
Holy snow pile, Batman.
This “Goodbye Winter, You Suck” cookie we got from work today. Okay, that’s not what they called it. Something more politically correct like “Beat the winter blues” or some happy horseshit. But we all know the truth. Winter, we are done with you! Done, I say!
My new bedroom set.
Ha! Just kidding. I really did get one, but it’s in the garage at my in-laws. In our 28.5 years of marriage, we have never had a matching bedroom set, so I am pretty stoked about this. Once we are moved in, I will post pictures.
And finally, random pictures of our new house while under construction. We just went out there last night, and it’s almost all done. Wheeee! One more week!
This will likely by my last post for a few weeks due to the move. We got rid of my old desk and I’m sitting on a low stool with my keyboard on my lap, gazing up at my computer which is on an end table. I thought the stool would work but it turns out I’m still a little low. Anyway, long story short – it’s not super comfortable, thus the suspension of blog posts until I am set up in our new house. I expect it will be the 27th before you see me again. Hopefully we will be firmly above the freezing mark by then!
Welcome to my second installment of 100 Happy Days! For those of you who missed the first installment, you can read it here. For the rest of you, read on!
This video. I have been cracking up at this since I first saw it about a month ago. It’s totally ridiculous and dumb – typical Will Ferrell. Which is, of course, why I love it. Between The Daver, my friends, and my kids – pretty sure we have this memorized. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down?
Doesn’t everyone need a little Pug creamer…planter…thing? I know I do!
Spending an evening with my daughter, which started with watching Portlandia, then shopping, and ended with dinner. Winning!
Scotchy Scotch Scotch. I love Scotch!
We have our house up for sale, and are anxiously watching a spec home being built that we really want to buy. We keep driving by it to see the progress, and then we go home and chew our nails and say a few prayers. This last picture shows they have the windows in. We just hope someday they will be our windows.
Early gift from my son for my birthday – Chromecast! It’s a small device that allows you to watch shows from NetFlix or HBO Go or Hulu on your TV. Pretty easy to set up (so easy, a Mom can do it!) and now I can watch New Girl, Downton Abbey, and Sherlock, all on the big screen. I’m almost done with New Girl, so will need to start a new series pretty quick. Vote below in the comments if you think it should be Downton Abbey or Sherlock or ??
I forgot to turn the image before I uploaded it, and now I’m too lazy. You’ll just have to turn your head if you want to read the card.
Early gift from my great friend, Susan (such a great name – you know she must be extra great. Because of her name. Susan. Susan is Great. Or Sue. Sue is Great). It’s a lovely Alex and Ani bracelet, with a garnet charm. This is my second one, so be jealous. These are all the rage on the East Coast! And you all know what a fashion diva I am. Because I am great. And I should tell you that I don’t think I was technically supposed to open it early, but I did anyway. Because I am great. And have the mind of a 12-year-old. And I am impatient. But mostly the great part.
Sue is great, and gets a tiara for her birthday.
I didn’t really get this on the 29th, but I forgot to take a picture for this day, and it was like a zillion degrees below zero again, so I think my happy had something to do with laying in front of the fire like a zombie while playing Tapped Out and eating cookies, and nobody really needs to see a picture of that. So instead, look at the freaking awesome tiara my sister got me, and the fun book about 50 Things To Do When You Turn 50. I am already attracted to “Wear Comfortable Clothes” section and the “Stop Obsessing About Your Flaws” section (being so great AND wearing a tiara, I will just skim this section).
These beautiful flowers from my thoughtful, bestest friend Donna-Lips, who, even though she officially became an Old Bag 8 months before me, obviously has not felt the effects of CRS disease (Can’t Remember Shit) as she remembered to send my gift heralding my entrance to Old Bag-dom a full day early.
January 31st – February 2nd:
Dave and I decided this ice formation looked like a dragon or a crocodile head. It made me smile all day.
Ice, Ice, Baby
Where’s my Corona?? And cabana boy?
A message to Dave
Cave Point Park
More Cave Point. Notice the kayaker. The beauty was worth the risk, though, I bet.
Shattered, icy glass.
Trekking along the beach
All of these pictures are from my birthday weekend celebration at Glidden Lodge in Door County. You only become an Old Bag once in your life, so might as well do it right. We had a fantastic time, and it was exactly what I needed – some down time off the grid, while enjoying God’s good and beautiful earth.
I wish all Monday’s were this good!
Can’t wait to wear the t-shirt. I’m such a geek. Grover approves.
Coming to work to find this in my cube. Yes. My imaginary boyfriend, The Wolverine, courtesy of my other bestie – LaDawnduh. You know, I have been blessed with some truly fantastic friends, but they do like to pick on me a bit. I guess it’s because I’m just so great! When I brought it home tonight, The Daver asked “Why do you have a picture of me with Hugh Jackman’s face on it?”
And there you go! Another episode of #100HappyDays in the books! I will be off the grid the rest of this week as we have our big sales meeting for my day job Thursday – Saturday, so I won’t see you all again until probably the 13th. Stay tuned though – I will be introducing a new “hero”!